I Don’t Want a
Fairy Tale Ending

To the person who promised me a fairy tale ending, please don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t want a fairy tale ending with you.

By Claire Jariss Manlapas


I don’t want a fairy tale ending with you because I am clearly not the ending that you want. I know that you are chasing your own happily ever after and that I am merely a stopover — a tire change, a gas refill — to the destination you’ve always longed for.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in fairy tale endings. I’d like to think that for every person, there is that magical fairy tale that does not necessarily involve a glass slipper but lies within the same class — it can be a guy picking up the book you dropped or a handsome fellow defending the geek to the mean girls. The classic fairy tale ending would be for the princess to end up with the prince, but they failed to teach us what happens beyond the “happily ever after” we’re all yearning for because seriously, isn’t that when the real story starts?

People often wondered what happened to the Princesses of childhood favorites. Did Snow White run her father’s kingdom or did Prince Charming take over? No one really knows if Cinderella left a glass slipper for another Prince to find. Did Aurora sleep away unresolved domestic issues? Did Rapunzel ever consider cutting her hair short when he and Prince Charming fought? Did every Prince Charming remain charming afterwards? No one can tell because fairy tales are intended to build one’s hopes and dreams, therefore having one bottomline: a happily ever after. But what happens after the Princess marries the Prince?

Let me put it out there: Happily ever afters don’t make sense.

They’re vague. They’re presumptuous. They’re hardly ever true. It’s not like you’ll trot from one candy-colored cloud to another while holding hands until the day you die or ride a magical unicorn across borders to try every macaron on display.

Instead, I choose to believe in fairy tales and linger in the middle part — the courtship, the tenacities, the resolution — a little before the story ends.


I don’t want a fairy tale ending if I am not your Princess. At the rate that we’re going, I’m better off searching for the meaning of life than waiting for you to realize that you have a 100% chance of having a happily ever after with me.

I’m not even praying for Prince Charming. Instead, I want a fairy tale— the modern day kind — and preferably with you. I want to find myself in a stressful situation that I will get through with your help. I want to hear our song playing in the car when we run out of things to say. I want to walk out of an awkward situation, hop in a cab and see you looking at its tail. And I won’t be the only one. I want to give you a fairy tale, too. I want to mail you handwritten love letters. I want to send you 100+ emojis while you’re at work. I will support your basketball games and cater to your every need.

I can settle for fairy tales— real and simple, remarkable however short-lived. Fairy tales give me hope; a hope that there is more to mopping cinders; a hope for someone to climb the tower and free me; a hope that someone will slay the dragon. That tiny spark of hope is all I need to fool me into believing that chivalry is not dead and that true love, as portrayed in every Nicholas Sparks novel, exists.


I don’t want a fairy tale ending and I won’t give you one. I don’t even want to think of the end because if we’re doing it right, ideally, you’ll most likely end up with the woman of your dreams and I too, will find what’s mine. Endings are uncertain. There is no map, book or instructional video that will tell us what happens next. It is up to us to keep the words flowing. It is up to us if we want to flip to the next page. It is up to us if we want to put the book down.

I believe in fairy tales that’s why I don’t want you to lock your true feelings inside a chest and banish them for years. I want you to feel; I want you to celebrate your pain and longing. You have unknowingly given me more fairy tale moments than all the people I’ve been with combined and I dare be cursed for life if I do not give you a shot at your own fairy tale.

I could go on dreaming my happily ever after waking up next to you, but we both know that’s not written in your book. I am thankful for the time that we are given and I would like to make the most out of every minute that I have before you find your Princess.

So for now, let’s keep our fairy tale going, page after page. Please?

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